Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas fron The PICs

Have a safe & Merry Christmas
The PICs

To all my Wonderful Cubs with lots of love and happy Christmas wishes
Hugs and kisses
Aunt Jeannie

Monday, December 22, 2014

Buttermilk Oven-Fried Chicken with Coleslaw

Makes 4 servings (serving size :1 chicken breast halve- 3/4 cup coleslaw)

4                cups packaged cabbage-and-carrot coleslaw
3                tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise
1-1/2         teaspoons sugar
1/2            teaspoon celery seeds
1-1/2         teaspoons cider vinegar
1/8            teaspoon salt

1             cup low-fat buttermilk
4            (8-ounce) bone-in chicken breast halves, skinned
1/3         cup all-purpose flour
1/3         cup cracker meal
1/2         teaspoon salt
1/2         teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2            tablespoons butter

1.       To prepare coleslaw, combine first 6 ingredients; toss to coat. Cover and chill.
2.       Preheat oven to 425°.
3.       To prepare chicken, combine buttermilk and chicken in a shallow dish, turning to coat.
4.       Combine flour and cracker meal in a shallow dish. Transfer chicken from buttermilk to a work surface. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Working with one chicken breast half at a time, dredge chicken in flour mixture, shaking off excess; set aside. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken and flour mixture.
5.       Melt butter in a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan, meat side down; cook 4 minutes or until golden brown. Turn chicken over, and bake at 425° for 32 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165°.

Cracker meal gives the coating more crunch; look for it on the baking aisle of your supermarket. If you can't find cracker meal, make your own by pulsing 10 saltine crackers in a food processor until they're finely ground. Or place them in a zip-top plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin.

Heart Healthy

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Braised Short Ribs

                             Prep : 35 minutes Cook : 3 hours

2-1/4          cups dry red wine, divided
2-1/4          cups beef broth, divided
2                garlic cloves, chopped
1                teaspoon ground allspice
1/2             teaspoon ground ginger
4                pounds beef short ribs, trimmed and cut in half 1 teaspoon salt
1              teaspoon pepper
1/2           cup all-purpose flour
3              tablespoons olive oil
1              carrot, chopped
1/2           onion, chopped
1              celery rib, chopped
2              tablespoons tomato paste
**Roasted red potatoes**
**Garnish: chopped fresh parsley**

1 .       Combine 1/4 cup wine, 1/4 cup broth, garlic, allspice, and ginger in a shallow dish; add ribs, turning to coat. Cover and chill ribs for 4 to 6 hours, turning occasionally.
2 .       Remove ribs from marinade, reserving marinade. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper; dredge in flour.
3 .       Cook ribs, in batches, in hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat 15 minutes or until browned. Remove ribs, and set aside.
4 .       Reduce heat to medium; add carrot, onion, and celery, and sauté 7 minutes or until browned. Add tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes.
5 .      Return ribs to pan. Stir in reserved marinade and remaining 2 cups wine and 2 cups broth; bring mixture to a boil, and tightly cover.
6 .     Bake at 300° for 3 hours. Remove ribs.
7 .     Skim fat from sauce and discard; simmer sauce for 12 to 15 minutes or until reduced by half. Serve with ribs over roasted potatoes. Garnish, if desired.

These braised beef short ribs get their incredible flavor from a flavorful, spiced wine marinade. The marinade reduces to a savory sauce that's perfect drizzled over a side of roasted potatoes.

Heart Healthy

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Food for Thought :December is Eggnog Month.

Homemade eggnog is a tradition for many families during the holiday season.
Eggnog is technically a stirred custard that is a mixture of dairy and eggs. Its ingredients are almost identical to ice cream, although the alcohol content keeps it from freezing.
However, precautions must be taken to avoid foodborne illness related to Salmonella, which is usually caused by raw or undercooked eggs. This is especially important if you are serving people who are at high risk for foodborne illness such as young children, older adults, those with weakened immune systems as well as children and pregnant women, for non-alcoholic versions.
Here are some tips to help you enjoy eggnog this season:

1 .  Use a cooked egg base for eggnog by combining the eggs and half of the milk in your recipe. Gently cook, stirring constantly, the mixture to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Chill this mixture before adding the rest of the ingredients.

2 .  Adding alcohol to the recipe does not make the eggnog safe. If contaminated, unpasteurized eggs are used in the eggnog, you cannot count on the alcohol to kill the bacteria, as it is not likely to happen.

3 .  If using egg substitutes, some experimentation with the recipe may be needed to figure out the right amount to add for the best flavor.
 Homemade  Eggnog
                     Makes 12  cups                        Servings: 12
Ingredients :
12                     eggs
1 to 2-1/2         cups sugar (depending on your tastes, start out with 1 cup because you can add more later if you want to)
4                      cups milk
4                      cups whipping cream or 2 cups half-and-half
2-1/2               teaspoons vanilla extract
1                      teaspoon ground cinnamon
1                      teaspoon ground nutmeg (also depending on your tastes and more can be added later if you want to)
1 .      Use a saucepan or stock pot large enough to hold 4 quarts.
2.       In saucepan, beat together the eggs and sugar until smooth.
3 .      Stir in 4 cups milk.
4 .      Cook over medium low heat, whisking or stirring frequently because as this mixture begins to get hot it will easily scorch to the bottom of the pan if you aren't careful.
5 .      Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat a metal spoon and reaches 160° on a food thermometer.
6 .      Remove from heat.
7 .      Slowly add the 4 cups whipping cream or half& half while whisking together until smooth.
8 .      Add vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and combine until incorporated.
9 .      At this point, you may taste test (carefully- it will still be very hot) and if it doesn't seem sweet enough for your taste, add extra sugar.
10 .    Daughter use a total of 3/4 cup sugar because we like it sweet.
11 .    You may also add more nutmeg at this point if you like a strong nutmeg flavor.
12 .    Pour into a pitcher or container.
13 .    Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled- several hours or overnight.
14 .    Serve garnished with your choice of toppings: whipped cream, chocolate curls, maraschino cherries, cinnamon sticks or peppermint sticks.
15 .    Brandy, rum, whiskey or flavored liqueur's may be added before serving if desired.
You  can double  this  recipe  if  needed .

Words of  Wisdom :

A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of facts within a comparatively short time, but the ability to form judgments requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity.

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

It's true, Christmas can feel like a lot of work, particularly for mothers. But when you look back on all the Christmases in your life, you'll find you've created family traditions and lasting memories. Those memories, good and bad, are really what help to keep a family together over the long haul.

The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live. (Laughing  my  butt off)

A proud Grand-poppa

Sunday, December 14, 2014



Friday, December 12, 2014

Aunt Jeannie

Cute  am  I not  and adorable ? Right  now  I am in seventh  heaven , won't  you come and  join  me .

Jonny  ,  Sha  ,  Jenny  , Man Carano

Chris ,  Sheryl ,  Bubba  Landrieu

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Food for Thought : December is National Pear Month.

Pears are one of the world’s oldest cultivated fruits and they come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Varieties of pears such as Anjoe, Bartlett, Bosc and Forelly vary only slightly in flavor and texture and are, for the most part, available year round.

Washington, Oregon and California produce almost all of the pears grown in the United States. Pears pack plenty of nutritious goodness. A medium size pear has only about 100 calories, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy pears this season:

1 .  Substitute pears for apples in any recipe. Add a little orange or lemon juice to prevent fresh pears from browning. Pears are great in spinach salads or on a turkey sandwich.

2 .  Choose pears with no bruises or dark brown spots. Make sure to rinse the pear under cold running water before eating.
•The skin of a pear is packed with nutrients, so don’t peel a pear before eating. However, do not eat the seeds.

3 .  Pears ripen from the inside out. To check the ripeness of a pear, simple press near the stem with your thumb. If it gives to gentle pressure, then it is ripe and ready to eat. If you wait until the pear is soft around the middle, it will be too ripe. Pears ripen at room temperature, so leaving them out on the table or on the counter top is the best place for them.

Words of Wisdom : 

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

If you're trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I've had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.

If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.

A proud  Grand-poppa

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Brie , Parma Ham Crostini & Asparagus

Preparation time: 25 minutes                Servings: 12

They almost look too good to eat, until you taste one and your better judgment gets the best of you. These appetizers are simple to make, but the delicate asparagus spears and distinct flavors of prosciutto and brie tell your guests a story of a detail-obsessed host. 
I want to share with you one of the treats for guests dropping  in during  the  holiday season  and  they will think  you spent  all day preparing   these   little  delicious  appetizers.

12          fresh asparagus spears 
2           tablespoons olive oil, divided 
1/8        teaspoon  salt 
1/8        teaspoon pepper 
12         slices French bread baguette (1/2 in. thick) 
3           thin slices prosciutto (Parma ham) or deli ham, cut into thin strips 
6           ounces  Brie cheese, cut into 12 slices 

Cooking Directions:
1 .        Cut asparagus tips into 2-inch lengths. (Discard stalks or save for another use.) Place asparagus tips in a 15x10x1-inch x 1-inch baking pan lined with foil. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425°F for 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp-tender. 
2 .        Brush baguette slices on both sides with remaining oil. Place on a baking sheet. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until toasted.
3 .       Top each slice with asparagus, prosciutto and cheese. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Heart  healthy

Saturday, December 6, 2014


Friday, December 5, 2014

Aunt Jeannie

If wishes were  flowers  , we would send  to you a big  bunch to say ....

"Get Well Soon"

Jonny  , Sha , Jenny ,  Man  Carano
Chris , Sheryl , Bubba  Landrieu

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Food for Thought : Packed Your Lunch Lately

 Have you packed your lunch lately? Taking your lunch can not only be a healthful alternative to eating out, it can also be much more economical. Often times, we slack on bringing our lunch to work because we get bored with the same things. Take a little extra time this week and plan your meals for next week, including your lunch, you will be glad you did. Here are a few tips to help you add some new twists to your wintertime sack lunch:

1 . Baked potatoes are great options for creativity and versatility. You can have them plain, with basic toppings such as yogurt, chili and cheese or even broccoli and baked chicken.

2 .Soups make a great quick-heat lunch. However, if you make a large pot of soup, you may become bored and tired of the flavor before you reach the end of the pot. Go ahead and freeze portion-size servings. This way, you can enjoy your healthful soup a few weeks from today without any extra effort.

3 .Look for fruits and vegetables that are in season to add variety to your lunch. Fall and winter fruits such as pomegranate, apples and pears make great additions to salads. Sweet potatoes and greens also make a bland lunch colorful and appealing.

4 . Make sure you follow food safety precautions when packing your lunch. Just because it is cold outside, doesn’t meant you don’t need your ice pack or cold source.
                               Homemade  Vegetable  Soup
2           tablespoons olive oil 
1           chicken (3 pounds) boned, skinned, and visible fat removed, diced, (save the bones and carcass) 
Creole seasoning, (recipe below)
1-1/2     cups chopped onions 
1           cup chopped celery 
1           cup diced carrots 
1/2        cup chopped green onions 
2           tablespoons minced garlic 
1/4        cup fresh parsley leaves  
2           tablespoons chopped fresh basil 
4           bay leaves  
2           cups assorted chopped fresh vegetables, such has beans, zucchini yellow squash  or cabbage, small dice 
1-1/2     cups torn spinach leaves, cleaned and stemmed 
                    Pinch crushed red pepper  
3          quarts chicken stock  
1          pound assorted small dried pasta shapes, such as stars, tubes, shells, etc. 
12        small thermoses 
1          cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves 
12        small resealable plastic snack bags

ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast): 
2-1/2    tablespoons paproka 
2          tablespoons salt 
2          tablespoons garlic powder 
1          tablespoon black pepper 
1          tablespoon onion powder 
1          tablespoon cayenne pepper 
1          tablespoon dried oregano 
1          tablespoon dried thyme
In a large sauce pot, heat the olive oil. Season the chicken with Creole seasoning. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, bones, and carcass and saute for about 5 minutes, or until the meat and bones are brown. Remove the bones and carcass. Add the onions, celery, carrots, green onions, garlic, parsley, basil, and bay leaves. Season with Creole seasoning. Saute the vegetables for 4 minutes. Add the chopped vegetables, spinach and crushed red pepper and saute for 1 minute. Add the stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the pasta. Reduce the heat to a simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Reseason if necessary. Serve hot. Ladle the soup into thermoses and seal tightly with the lid. Place a spoonful of the parsley into each bag and seal completely.

ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast): 
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup

Words of  Wisdom:
I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition

I truly believe that everything that we do and everyone that we meet is put in our path for a purpose. There are no accidents; we're all teachers - if we're willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door.

Work hard for what you want because it won't come to you without a fight. You have to be strong and courageous and know that you can do anything you put your mind to. If somebody puts you down or criticizes you, just keep on believing in yourself and turn it into something positive.

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.

A Proud  Grand-poppa 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Chicken 'N' Biscuts in a Pot

Prep / total Time : 1 hour 15 minute ... Make 6 servings

The chopped fresh herbs in the biscuits that top this comforting chicken stew add another layer of flavor to the dish

6 ..................tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ..................shallots , thinly sliced
1/2 ...............pounds shiitake mushrooms , stemmed and thinly sliced
1 ..................large carrot , cut into 1/3-inch chunks
1/2 ...............cup dry white wine
1-1/4 ............cups plus 1 tablespoon self-rising flour
2-1/2 ............cups low-sodium chicken broth
Freshly ground pepper
3 ...................cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1/2 ................cup frozen baby peas
1 ...................tablespoon chopped sage
1 ...................tablespoon chopped thyme
1/2 ................cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk

1. Preheat oven to 425*F. In a large dutch oven or enameled cast-iron casserole , melt 2 tablespoons of the butter . Add the shallots , mushrooms and carrots chunks and cook over moderate heat , stirring until the shallots and mushrooms are softened , about 8 minutes . Add the wine and cook until completely evaporated , about 1 minute . Stir in the 1 tablespoon of flour and the broth and bring to a boil . Season with salt and pepper . Simmer until thick , about 3 minutes . Stir in the chick peas .

2 . In a food processor , combine the remaining 1-1/4 cups of flour with the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and the chopped sage and thyme ; pulse 5 times . Add the milk ; pulse just until soft dough forms .

3. Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon , scoop 20 balls of dough over the chicken stew . Bake in the center of the oven for 25 minutes . Turn on the broiler and broil for 1 to 2 minutes , until the biscuits are golden . Let rest for 5 minutes before serving .
Serve with a fragrant , full bodied California white wine .

Heart Healthy